Ruth: Life After Death

Scripture: Ruth 1

This morning, we begin our series on the book of Ruth, a remarkable story about strong women, fierce love, and bold courage, and a remarkable story because it begins in a place of sadness, pain, and loss. Dr. Kathryn Schifferdecker writes, "This little domestic tale is a story of God’s hesed, God’s faithfulness, God’s covenant love, lived out in the lives of everyday, ordinary human beings, much like you and me." The first chapter begins by telling us about the life of Naomi, a matriarch of her family, and how their lives are upended by famine, when the fields of the earth could not...

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(posted 8/15/22)


Scripture: John 16:12-15

In this world in which we live, we often seek out guides to help us figure things out. Right now, one of the most popular guides in our culture is… not a religious figure… not me, your pastor… but Youtube. At this moment, there are millions of how-to videos on the internet, from cooking demonstrations to how to fix leaky toilets (something I have watched multiple times). And on the fun end of things - K-Pop dance videos. We witnessed a Pentecost explosion of dance on Friday evening at a Korean cultural celebration in Washington DC at the National Museum...

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(posted 6/14/22)


Scripture: John 18:28-40

This week, I like so many was drawn to the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanja Brown Jackson, who if confirmed will be the first black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. And unfortunately, what was intended perhaps to be a time for the Senate to advise and consent in this process, the two day hearing felt more like an interrogation, a cross-examination, as a few Senators used their time to cast aspersions of character against the nominee. They asked questions that they asked no other Supreme Court nominee - criticizing her for the choice of school that her daughter...

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(posted 3/29/22)

Holy Anger

Scripture: John 2:13-25

On this weekend when we remember and renew our commitment to the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, when so many corporations and politicians from every direction put out quotes and statements in his memory, I want to take us back in history and remind us of the fact that Dr. King was a deeply polarizing prophetic figure. USA Today noted that “According to an early 1968 Harris Poll, the man whose half-century of martyrdom we celebrate this week died with a public disapproval rating of nearly 75%.” In recent years then, when people talk about Dr. King, it can...

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(posted 1/21/22)

Best for Last

Scripture: John 2:13-25

During this pandemic, we have had to learn new rituals. When we enter a place of business or even a house of worship, masks go up. Our temperatures get checked. Our hands turn to the ritual of hand sanitizer stations. Our handshakes and hugs are replaced with gentle bows, nods, and eye contact, often from a guesstimated six feet distance. These new rituals are not religious in nature - and yet they are very spiritual, concerned with preventing the spread of a disease that has harmed and killed hundreds of thousands of neighbors. What has been a challenging in this pandemic is whether...

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(posted 1/16/22)


Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The first verse from our scripture today is quite an image - listen again: The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. (Ezek. 37:1) The prophet Ezekiel is describing a spiritual vision that God has given him at a crucial moment in his people’s life. This is not like one of those dreams that you wake up from and can’t seem to remember. This is a startling image - a valley of bones. A valley of...

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(posted 12/7/21)

God Speaks

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:1-18

It was coincidence this week that I was thinking about our scripture about Elijah - and what he experiences on the mountain with earthquakes, wind, and fire - that all around me in the office was the sound of construction as our HVAC team drilled holes through our cinder blocks in preparation for some upgraded systems. Now there was a great wind… (PLAY DRILL) After the wind an earthquake… (PLAY DRUM) After the earthquake a fire… (PLAY WHAT) And then silence. But perhaps it was God speaking to me, because life is often like that, right? We live in a...

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(posted 11/8/21)

Bread in the Desert

Scripture: Exodus 16:1-18

Diana Butler Bass - thriving congregations to come will center on gratitude. Take That, COVID - by Diana Butler Bass - The Cottage This morning, let’s give our permission to recognize that we have been in a wilderness of sorts. Wilderness means a lot of things to us - especially to any of you enjoy traveling or camping and getting out in places where there are less people and more stars. In the stories of the Bible, wilderness represents those times when we are wandering - when we are in between one place on the way to another - when we are searching...

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(posted 10/17/21)

Beginning with the Basics

Scripture: Genesis 1-2:4

“Don’t leave your brain at the door.” I saw this on a poster once at a church, and knew… that was my kind of church. It’s not, of course, that I am suggesting that all churches or all Christians leave their brains at the door, but some do. And when they do, as we see in this time of poor theology around vaccines, people suffer. Our witness suffers. Deep behind that is an idea that Christianity and science cannot co-exist. Over the past few weeks, our VBS series has explored the conflicts and possibilities between science and faith. Can...

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(posted 9/15/21)

Stories of Generosity

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” - John 20:19 (NRSV) Dear church, Happy Easter! One of the ways we continue our Easter celebration is by reflecting on the stories of Jesus’ continued appearances with his disciples and with the early church. Storytelling about how Jesus showed up in locked rooms, in the midst of fear, and in the confusion and chaos of the disciples’ lives gave them...

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(posted 4/13/21)

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